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Posted at January 9, 2020
However, it is not always possible to do what you would like. If you live in a condominium building, the use of your balcony is governed by your condominium rules and the common law.
In any co-ownership regulation, a balcony is considered a common area, even if is dedicated to the "private enjoyment" of the apartment's resident.
Before you put flower pots on a balcony, consult the co-ownership regulations. If it is prohibited for aesthetic reasons, the trustee of co-ownership will require the concerned co-owner -or his tenant- to remove the pots. If one or the other does not comply with the requirement of the trustee, the co-ownership will send a registered letter for denaturing the aesthetic appearance of the building.
Even if no rule exists to stop you from gardening on your balcony, there still are strict regulations to follow. One is to put flower pots and boxes inside the guardrails! This is to avoid the risk of pots falling on passers-by or on the occupants of the floors below.
In general, a balcony is able to support a weight equivalent to 350 kg / m². Some can support more weight. To be sure, ask the building trustee.
Choose medium size pots. In addition to the weight of the pot and of the earth, it must be taken into account that, once wet, the earth becomes heavier.
Secure the pots so they do not fall and fly off in a storm. Remember to hang the pots inside the railing!
Dead leaves and faded flowers should not fall on neighbors or on the sidewalk.
Place a saucer under your flowerpots on the balcony to prevent water runoffs through the facade and passersby.
The flowers may be a cause of disturbance for your neighbors. This is particularly true with flowers whose scents are strong. Avoid plants that grow quickly for they might climb up (or down) the neighbor's windows or get in the gutters. Ivy, for example, can proliferate and cover an entire facade.
Also remember that flowerpots or shrubs should not hinder the opening of windows, nor obscure your neighbor's view.
In case a flowerpot falls from a balcony, and an accident occurs, the resident's responsibility is engaged.
Also, if an infiltration on the wall of the building is caused by intensive watering, the resident will be responsible for any damage done to the condominium's building.
credit photo @Simona Sergi
Revised on 17/03/22